Psychological barriers to the accurate scientific study of individual/social behavior

Kingsley U. Omoyibo1, Anthony Afe. Asekhauno2
1University of Benin, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria 2University of Benin, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Korespondenční autor: Kingsley U. Omoyibo (ufuomaomoyibo@hotmail.com; kingsley.omoyibo@uniben.edu)

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
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Submitted:18. 7. 2015
Accepted: 5. 5. 2016
Published online: 30. 6. 2016

Summary

Humans could manifest behavioral patterns that may not be a true reflection of their inner will, in this sense, man is a being that doubts, thinks, wills, intends, desires, and is dynamically rational. How do these features apply in the predictability of man? In short, what is the depth and reliability of our prying into an individual’s will? Prominently, there are two conflicting accounts on whether or not a scientific study of human social behavior is possible, and these are based on four basic claims: one, that there are regularities in human behaviors; two, that the world is rule-governed and humans are part of that world; three, following Spencer and Comte, like the study of parts and their function in an organism, that humans are part of a larger society and therefore can be functionally studied; and four, following Pratt, that human social behavior can be studied like animals’ in characteristic situations. Yet, man is a rational/inte­lligent and dynamic being and many believe he is free: has a will to or not to act – which Nietzsche holds to be absolute. However, whether humans status of will is ontology-based or psychological-based or not, the fact remains that human actions are factual, empirical, experiential and, therefore, also scientific. This paper presented the arguments, indicated their interplay with one another and gleaned their tenability on the predictability or scientific study of man. This study was necessary since every society (particularly Africa)desires the ideals of order, peace and development; therefore, this article ascertained the depth of generalizations about man that could help him to better socialized and conform with societal expectations.

Keywords: willing; desiring; intention; action; science; methodology; deception

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